Qigong (reads: Chi Kung)
Is a term of Chinese origin that refers to Life Energy Cultivation. It is a holistic system (practiced for thousands of years) of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.
The most popular form of Qigong in the West is the Ba Duan Jin - "eight pieces of brocade", sometimes translated "eight treasures".It is a form composed of 8 sets of movements coordinated with the breath, developing a meditative flow. These exercises, with correct alignment of the body, intensify the flow of energy along the meridians (energy channels), the internal organs, the immune system and the whole body.
Ba Duan Jin origin remote back to the Shaolin temple, 6th century AD, when the Indian monk (Bodhidharma) realised that the Chinese monks were weak and couldn’t cope with the very long meditation sessions. Bodhidharma decided to teach yoga to the monks in order to strengthen and develop the vitality necessary for his practice, that bacame known as Chan Buddhism (Zen). Within the next century, his yoga was then absorbed and integrated into the Chinese Qigong and eventually influenced General Yue Fei (13th century AD) that is accredited for creating the Ba duan Jin form we know today.
Ba Duan Jin (8 treasures) – Benefits
1. . Palms raised to Heaven
(to regulate the Triple Burner)
Balances energy in all the internal organs (The Triple Burner refers to the Thoracic and Abdomino-Pelvic cavities). This first movement will help eliminate fatigue.
2. Drawing the Bow
(to to improve lungs and liver)
Realigns the back muscles and the spine. Strengthens the muscles of the arms, abdomen, back and legs. Improves lungs and liver and promotes overall good health and vitality.
3. Separate Heaven and Earth
(to adjust the Spleen & Stomach)
Invigorates the torso with energy and opens the chest for deeper breathing. This movement not only adjusts the spleen and the stomach, but also regulates the liver and gall bladder.
4. The Wise Owl Gazes Backward
(to Help Prevent Diseases and Injuries)
Exercises the neck and eyes muscles, releases tension. Nourishes the internal organs with vital energy and freshly oxygenated blood.
5. Shake the Head and Swing the Tail
(to Expel Fire from the Heart)
Expels Fire Energy from the system by drawing it out through the lungs and energy gates. The main goal is to balance the kidney and the heart.
6. Two Hands Hold the Feet
(to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist)
Stretches and tones the entire spinal column. Promotes the circulation of freshly oxygenated blood to the brain. Balances energy flow between the front and back, upper and lower parts of the body.
7. Punching with Angry Eyes
(to Help Prevent Disease)
Angry and tense feelings are dispelled. Additional oxygen is supplied to the blood. Trains and benefits the liver and also the waist and kidneys, enhancing overall strength and Qi.
8. Bouncing on the Toes (7 times)
(para ajudar a prevenir doenças)
Generates waves of energy, stimulates the body’s central nervous system and improves blood flow to the internal organs, which helps detoxify them. Enhances the balance and coordination.